"For us it's less about the story and more about the structure of the gameplay and what makes sense to be presenting to the consumer."
- veteran Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto discusses women as characters in Nintendo games.
Miyamoto explained to Kotaku
that since the Nintendo DS era, Nintendo has found that more and more women are playing games, and are wanting to play as women characters.
"Even as far back as Mario Kart
, we had females who wanted to be able to play as female characters and we obviously saw the addition of Princess Peach early on in that series," he noted. "And gradually, over time, we started to see the desire for other-balanced female characters."
"And so we've added heavier female characters in the Mario Kart
series for them to choose from," he continued, referring to the addition of heavy-class characters in the game that move more slowly, but are stronger. "So I think it's just a natural tendency."
Miyamoto says that introducing women characters, especially in scenarios where women are saving male characters (a reversal of the classic "Damsel in Distress" scenario) into Nintendo games has to feel natural in how the game plays.
"I guess, for me in particular, the structure of the gameplay always comes before the story," he added. "And so we're always looking at, when we're putting that together, what is the most natural story to take place within that structure."
"So, if we end up creating a gameplay structure where it makes sense for, whether it's a female to go rescue a male or a gay man to rescue a lesbian woman or a lesbian woman to rescue a gay man, we might take that approach," Miyamoto continued.